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    SubjectRe: GPL and Linux kernel related question...

    Sorry David,

    I jumped the gun........

    On Thu, 6 Jul 2000, David Woodhouse wrote:

    >
    > hiroyama73@hotmail.com said:
    > > when opening linux/drivers/mtd/nftl.c, I read :
    > > /*
    > > LEGAL NOTE: The NFTL format is patented by M-Systems. They have
    > > granted a licence for its use with their DiskOnChip products:
    >
    > > I thought that all the sources were submitted to GPL... I may be wrong
    > > could anyone explain me that ? Thanks in advance.
    >
    > The code is under GPL. Sorry, I should have made that more explicit. I'll
    > submit a patch to Linus to correct that.
    >
    > The licence referred to in that passage is a licence to use the algorithms
    > involved in reading/writing the NFTL format, which are patented in some
    > parts of the world. The owner of the patent has granted a licence to use
    > those algorithms on certain devices, and there is no restriction on "copying,
    > distribution or modification" of the code - which would conflict with the GPL.
    >
    > The only restriction is on _use_ of the code, which is not exclusive with
    > the GPL - in the same way as the ISDN code is under GPL even though you need
    > telco approval to use it in most countries, and the ISDN approval even becomes
    > invalid if you modify the code - which is a restriction far more likely to
    > breach the terms of the GPL than the FTL and NFTL patents.
    >
    >
    > --
    > dwmw2
    >
    >
    >
    > -
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    >

    Andre Hedrick
    The Linux ATA/IDE guy


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